Video trailer for Kathy Cano Murillo’s newest novel Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing
Kathy Cano Murillo, The Crafty Chica, has long been an inspiration to me, and many of us in the crafting community. Her joyous can do spirit shines through everything she does, and I love reading her tales of her crafty adventures. It was only natural that she also turn her gift with words to ficition, and it was with great delight that I read her first novel Waking Up in the Land of Glitter when it was released last spring. That story of friendship and crafting was so vivid and so inspirational that I was eager to read her second novel.
Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing also tells the tale of a group of women, and the friendships formed around a common goal. Scarlet Santana is a young designer who worships the designer Daisy de la Flora, and who writes a crafty blog dedicated to Daisy and her style, both in creating artwork and creating a life. When Scarlet wins an opportunity to study with Daisy’s nephew, the well-known Johnny Scissors, she decides to teach a class in her signature patternless sewing style to raise the funds for the trip to New York City.
The women Scarlet meets in her class range from the high school students Stephanie and Jennifer, to young career-minded wife and mother Mary Theresa, to life-changing Olivia (pronounced “Oh Live Yah!”) and the mysterious Rosa. Through the course of the class the women get to know each other and bond over their individual dreams and hopes. They provide each other support and a cheering section for when things get overwhelming. None of the women are the same at the end of the story as they were at the beginning, and all of them find that dreams don’t die, even when it appears all is lost.
I really enjoyed this novel, the depth of detail Kathy uses in describing each setting and character satisfies my desire for feeling like I’m part of the story. Scarlet’s style, the design work of Daisy, the setting of Vega’s Vicious Vinyl and of course Nana Eleanor’s home all feel like real places. Kathy also manages to fit a lot of her “you can do this too” enthusiasm in through the use of blog posts written by Miss Scarlet, that have tips and techniques for living a fuller, more rich life. Inspirational and entertaining, Miss Scarlet’s school is a place I would love to visit over and over again
As part of the blog tour for Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing, I am pleased to present this post from Kathy herself. As someone who admires Kathy’s ability to transition from the world of making visual art to the world of creating with words, I asked how she handles this sometimes challenging shift in creating, and how each medium can feed the other. This was her answer:
“They both are about translating imagination, but in different forms. I draw from the same pool of creativity – choosing a color story, the mood, a message and then creating a background and foundation, the focal point and the accents and embellishments. Often, while I’m working in the art room, I’ll listen to music that my characters like and think about their storylines. And when I finish a project, it feels good to switch over to writing, I’m excited and ready to type away! I love that with writing, there is no mess. However, it’s much more difficult to redo a 90,000 manuscript that it is to make changes to an art piece!”
To celebrate the release of Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing, I am hosting a giveaway of Kathy’s novels. One lucky winner will receive a copy of each novel, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter and Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing. Just leave a comment below, and answer the question, what is your favorite craft supply? I will pick the winners on Monday, March 14.